Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I had a successful trip to Southern Oregon last week! There was a true Oregon snow storm the last day I was in town with trees splitting down the middle and entire cities shutting down and people looking at you like you are completely crazy for even mentioning getting in your car. It's kind of nice here when it snows, even if it's just a little, because no one expects you to do anything but wait for it to melt (: This particular snow fall was only a few inches, but trees were collapsing all around town! As I was walking to my meeting I saw a very large tree literally keel over and split in half. I don't think the vegetation here is able to handle the snow, perhaps it's a looser soil or perhaps it's because the trees stay green most of the year and aren't equipped to carry the weight of the leaves AND the snow. I could look this up, but am not motivated in this moment and will assume that my hypothesis are correct. I am so smart.

Tomorrow I will attempt to drive to Bend which is in Central Oregon. This involves driving over Mt. Hood, a more legitimate concern with the snow. Did you know that people in Oregon drive with studded tires and are often required to carry chains? I don't remember this happening in WI. I suppose there aren't mountain ranges to cross in WI either.

Wish me luck!

PS - check this out
I enjoy the woman from Wisconsin and also the man from Edinburgh, Scotland. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Story

Niagara Falls-But Nobody Slipped Down It.
By: Claire Halberg

Once up on a time, there was a Niagara Falls. And he wondered “Hey I want to see some food around here” So he kept on swishing, and he found something. It was the same thing that animals eat. Seashore food, that’s what he found to eat. And he saw someone eating their lunch. It was Puppet. He was eating something really healthy for him. He was eating it on the floor. And then he started to see something swishing. “That must be a waterfall,” he said. And he thought and thought, and Puppet was right, it was Niagara Falls! And then Puppet wanted to be in the story too, and I said “Sure puppet.” And he counted “One two three for five six”, and then he counted in Spanish “Uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis siete ocho nueve diez.” And then, he found some food that nobody was eating. So he started to eat. It was a snack. It was all colors of apples. “I want to eat some apples,” he said to his mother. “You are eating some apples already” his mother said. “But they are too squishy” puppet said. But then he changed his mind and they were nice and crunchy. And then it started to get windy, and the wind blew Puppet’s voice away, so he started to run run run quick, before he got too close to the waterfall. And then he caught his voice in his mouth. And then he heard something, “whoo whoo whoo” It was whoo whoo whoo-ing. It was an owl! And she was whoo-ing. She was trying to find her mommy, that’s why she was whoo-ing. And she said, “Oh, I’ll never find my mommy again”. And then someone came up to the owl. It was the biggest rock ever. And it was carrying something. Know what it was carrying? It was carrying a boat! And the boat said “Boomp boomp” And then crash! boom! crash! boom! something crashed into the boat. It was some water! There was big waves! And there was just something floating back and forth, nice and smooth. Know what it was? It was another boat! And it had owl’s mommy on it. And the rock put the two boats down into the water so they can splash all day and swim. And the boats stopped, and they wondered, “Hey, I have a good idea! Lets find another boat! It can be the Daddy Boat!” And they found TWO more boats. The red boat was the daddy boat and the colorful boat was the mommy boat. And something started to push the boats. It was a big huge waterfall, and they just looked at it. And then they knew it was okay. The end.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

endodontic therapy

If anyone thought it was all chocolate covered strawberries and shushing down mountains and tropical vacations over here, its not. This week I had to get a root canal, or endodontic therapy as I prefer to say because it sounds much more worthy of the price tag. I was a little worried about it, I've heard horror stories like anyone else, but in reality, it was nothing. Less than nothing, actually. My tooth didn't hurt to begin with, the procedure itself was completely painless, and the area isn't sore now (I was warned that the people without pain prior to a root canal typically have more pain after the procedure). The biggest difference is now that tooth isn't cold sensitive like it used to be, and that is actually really nice. I was glad the whole thing was such a non-issue. The worst part about it is that I have to go back for the 'permanent restoration' in a month. I'm the kind of person who would prefer to just get it all over with in one shot, but I know thats not always the best way to do things. But at least it will be all finished before we leave for Hawaii!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Last week I was in Port Townsend, WA for work and then for a few extra days for play. We caught an awesome sunrise one morning that woke up my spirit and put a smile in my heart. The power of being outdoors and in nature is probably the most awesome power I have experienced in my short life. At this point, I'm doubtful that much can top it.

We also stayed on Discovery Bay near Port Townsend and spent hours walking the beach and examining the thousands of shells and rocks and crabs and mussels and clams and sand dollars, truly amazing! It was my first time seeing LIVE sand dollars, literally hundreds of them; black and slowing moving and burying themselves into the sand. The flower pattern on the front of the sand dollar actually serve as gils. This is one of the most incredible things I have seen on the beach yet!

I'm traveling this week for work as well, staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Ashland, OR where I hope to catch the play "As You Like It" because it is premier week of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Then it's off to Eugene for the end of the week before returning to Portland on Friday. Next week I head to Bend (yay for Central Oregon!) and then finally end my travel adventures on the coast the first part of March. Then it's back to the usual paper pushing in the office!

Things are well in Oregon overall. Em and I keep busy with work, school and friendships. A couple of weeks ago we had our female pals over for a dessert tea on a Saturday afternoon. A build your own cupcake bar and fruit salad were two of the favorites. I'll post some pictures soon ( :

2007 is a welcomed year in our house, so far so good!

love to all,

More Skiing

We went back for another Monday Night Madness at Shawnee Peak last night. This time we took Claire. It was her first time on skis, and she did great. Better than great, actually. She was really excited to go, got more excited when we picked up skis 'just my size!', and was completely impatient while getting bundled up. She could see the hill and wanted to be skiing rather than doing silly things, like taking pictures:

Her first time down, as soon as she was within earshot, I could hear "Faster Daddy! Faster!" She went through the learning area twice before she was bored with it and wanted to move on to the chair lifts. We couldn't tell if Claire liked the actual skiing or the chair lift better. They both were fun rides.

Mike really cruised with her, and she loved it. She didn't even complain about the cold (it was 5 degrees), earning the title Perfect Skiing Partner. I'm so proud of her!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


So we have our next trip booked and on the calender...

Thats right, we're off to Hawaii come April! Mike and I are very excited. And I'm completely willing to trade in this:

for this:

(I borrowed the picture from Eric. His blog is full of amazing pictures like this.)

Can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Our plan?

Stay in the house.

Its pretty wintery out there today. Turns out the weathermen weren't kidding this time when they said a storm was on the way. I can't say I'm not enjoying it, though. It isn't often that I get to look forward to a solid 24 hours of snow. Its like a permission slip to stay in my pajamas until noon and completely write off anything productive. And being Valentine's Day, Claire and I cooked up some special treats. We did have a party planned with some of Claire's friends, but nobody wanted to come out in the storm today. Not that I blame them, I wouldn't have either. So we made cupcakes anyway, and then some chocolate covered strawberries.

Since we finished those, Claire hasn't talked about much else.

"Those strawberries with chocolate on them sure do look delicious, Mom."
"You know those strawberries in the refrigerator? They sure do look yummy."
"I sure am hungry for a strawberry with chocolate on top."
"Is it tonight yet? Maybe I can eat just one strawberry."

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Northeaster!

Its coming! Our first big Northeaster* of the winter. Actually, its the biggest since 2000. We are suppose to get 10-15 inches of snow and 70mph winds making wind chills of -40 degrees possible and waves up to 20 feet! I would love to get out to the Portland Head and see that, but I doubt I will. Its suppose to start with ice sometime overnight, and at its peak tomorrow afternoon, we could get up to 3 inches of snow per hour. Everything is shutting down, dentist offices, doctors' offices, banks, even some schools already know they will have a snow day tomorrow. I've heard many warnings about having fresh batteries, flashlights, candles and blankets ready because wide spread power outages are not uncommon with these kinds of storms. We have all that stuff and a pile of firewood, so we should be fine if there is a power outage. Its really kind of exciting!

Claire's take on the whole thing is: "I guess we'll have to put on our snowshoes if we want to go to Dunkin' Donuts". She's probably right!

*The correct way to say it is 'Northeaster' (as opposed to 'Nor'easter'). This pronunciation is used on ships because 'Northeaster' is more easily understood than 'Nor'easter'. People who say 'Nor'easter' are thought of as trying too hard to be 'authentic' Maine or New England, but that doesn't keep the tv weathermen and papers from using it.

School: Day 3

Today when I was helping Claire get ready for school, she asked me to put a barrette in her hair, on the side, because thats how the other girls in her class wear their hair. I did, and she looked in the mirror and said,
"Hm. Thats okay... I guess."
She was then finished getting ready, so I left the room. A few minutes later, she came running into the kitchen and said,
"THIS is how I want to wear my hair today! With a HEADBAND! Not with a barrette like all the other girls, okay Mom?"

So off to school she goes. This is better than fine with me. I hope this trend continues well past the third day of pre-school.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Building Immunity Already.

After only a week into school, Claire already got sick this weekend. I guess it could have been food-related (Mike thinks so), but it does seem like quite the coincidence: start school=get sick. Last night was rough, but she's doing much better now.

So far school has been great. She really loves it. Tuesdays are show-and-tell days, and she's been deciding which item she's going to take next week since last Tuesday. We picked up a small purple backpack that is perfectly sized for her, and she'll choose one thing to share and stick it in only to decide on something else a few minutes later. Every day, she brings home a sheet that gives a little summary about what she did that day, including what her favorite part was. So far, she's listed 'snack time' as her favorite both days. But what she talks about the most is painting. Followed closely by circle time, feeding the fish, story time, and free play. She's obviously not quite at the age yet where you do 'nothing' in school all day. I can't believe how great its been for both of us already.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Q & A

Mike has been asking Claire questions for the past few minutes. Here are some of them, and her answers:

"What is the most ____ in the whole wide world?"

Important? Reading
Expensive? A Grocery Store
-What do you think would happen if you ate everything in the grocery store?
-I'm not gonna do that. I'll get a belly ache.
Precious? Playing Candy Land
Biggest? A Rock
Smelliest? A Marker
Loudest? Trumpet
Fastest? A bike! No, a plane!
Silliest? Clown
Prettiest? A ring
Ugliest? Wormie

What would happen if you stopped at a green light and went at a red light?
-There would be an accident.

What would happen if you stayed in bed all day, all night, and all the next day?
-My eyes would hurt.

What do you think about the President of the United States?
-I think they are great.
What do you like about the President?
-When you open it up, there is cool stuff inside.
What do you think about President Bush's decisions in Iraq?
-I don't know about that.

And a few days ago, I asked her about some of her favorites:

Color? Purple
Song? Some Days the Bear Will Eat You
Food? Chicken noodle soup. And for breakfast, cereal.
Fruit? Banana
Vegetable? Is a pear a vegetable? No. ...Is a carrot?? Yes. I love carrots!
Drink? Chocolate Milk
Place to go in the car? Children's Museum
Number? 10
Book? If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Thing to do in the snow? Make snow ball fights!!
Toy to play with? Legos
Thing to wear? My green dress and pink skirt

First Day of School

Claire's first ever day of school is today. She has been so excited for this day, and I have too. She will go for three hours every Tuesday and Thursday. Just the idea of that much free time is wonderful. I have no idea what I will do with myself, but I know I will enjoy it. And I know Claire will enjoy preschool. She's going to a school a friend of mine owns and runs. Claire knows her and her daughter, and I think that helps both of us feel really comfortable with it. Its going to be great!

And here are the mandatory traditional first day of school pictures. She picked out all of her clothes last night, and since we don't have a backpack for her, she insisted on taking her Strawberry Purse, for all of her "school things and stuff".

Also, I have to comment that in the first picture, it looks like she didn't completely miss out on the coveted Fitzgerald Eyes.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy Saturday

Its Saturday, Mike has the day off, and he took Claire to run a few errands. Alone time is completely underrated. Last night it snowed big fluffy flakes. The street lights reflected off the snow and cloud cover and made everything kind of glow orange. The roads must have been slick because all the cars were just crawling by. It was really nice, the slowness and quiet.

This morning its bright and sunny again (and definitely not as cold as it is in Wisconsin!). I shoveled the driveway while Claire climbed the snowbanks. We tried to make a snowman, but this kind of snow just won't stick together. So she settled on a few snow angles and then we went inside for breakfast. I'm sure thats just the beginning of playing outside today.